We catch up on the latest publishing news, from acquisitions to facts and figures, new hires and more.
Deals & Acquisitions
UMPG launches joint venture with DnB Allstars (Music Week)
Universal Music Publishing Group has formed a joint venture with DnB Allstars, the London-based label and events company specializing in drum and bass.
Snoop Dogg launches production music unit with Sony Music Publishing’s Extreme Music (MBW)
The newly formed unit will serve as a production music arm of Death Row Records, for licensing newly created music for TV, film, ads etc.
Barry Weiss launches new publishing venue Bossy Songs in partnership with Sony Music Publishing (MBW)
Music industry veteran Barry Weiss, CEO and Co-Founder of music labels RECORDS and RECORDS Nashville launches Bossy Sonys (formerly TwentySeven Music Publishing).
GoldState music partners with private equity firm Flexpoint Ford (MBW)
US-based music rights investment firm GoldState Music has announced what it describes in a press release as a “significant investment” and a new partnership with funds managed by private equity Flexpoint Ford Asset Opportunities.
Will Jennings sells catalog to Lance Freed and Fuji Music Group (MBW)
Legendary lyricist Will Jennings, known for crafting some of the most beloved hits of the last five decades, has sold his extensive catalog to a publishing company headed by music publisher Lance Freed and Fuji Music Group.
PROs, CMOs and Royalties
Stevie Spring named Chair of the Board at PRS (MBW)
UK-based royalty collection and distribution organization PRS for Music has announced the appointment of Stevie Spring CBE as its new Chair.
The MLC Is Auditing Streaming Services for the First Time (Billboard)
The audits are intended to ensure the accuracy of reported and paid royalties beyond the measures already taken by the MLC.
The MLC Is Being Audited by Bridgeport Music, Company That Reps George Clinton & Funkadelic (Billboard)
Bridgeport, which has sued over 800 artists and labels for copyright infringement, is the first music company to exercise audit rights for the collection society.
Songwriters Earn 2024 Cost of Living Adjustment for Physical and Digital Sales (Billboard)
The Copyright Royalty Board has granted songwriters and publishers a royalty bump starting in January.
Lana Del Rey Signs Publishing Deal With UMPG (Billboard)
Since her first album, Del Rey has released music with Polydor Records and Interscope Records. Her publishing agreement unites her publishing and recorded music under the Universal Music Group umbrella.
Reservoir & PopArabia sign publishing deal with Lebanese star Nancy Ajram’s In2Musica (Music Week)
Reservoir Media, in conjunction with PopArabia, has agreed a new publishing deal with In2Musica, the label, publisher and production house of Lebanese star Nancy Ajram.
Kenya Grace Signs Global Publishing Admin Deal With Warner Chappell (Billboard)
The announcement follows the breakout success of Grace’s single “Strangers,” which recently topped the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.
Warner Chappell signs global deal with Foreigner’s Mick Jones (Music Week)
Warner Chappell Music has signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with Mick Jones.
Sharon Van Etten signs to Warner Chappell (Music Week)
Sharon Van Etten has signed an exclusive global publishing agreement with Warner Chappell Music.
UMPG signs rising songwriter and producer Danny L Harle to exclusive global deal (Music Week)
Universal Music Publishing Group has announced that the British producer, songwriter and composer Danny L Harle has been signed to an exclusive, global administration agreement.
Downtown Music Publishing signs Josh Ramsay (Music Week)
Downtown Music Publishing has signed a global music publishing agreement with Josh Ramsay, the Grammy-nominated songwriter, producer and lead vocalist of Marianas Trench.
Funding, Facts & Figures
Hipgnosis board proposes £20m payment to potential bidders (Music Week)
The board of the music investment company has called for an extraordinary general meeting for shareholders in order to vote on a proposal that could draw out potential bidders.
Verswire raises $12.3m and preps publishing arm with Kobalt (Music Week)
Verswire launched in 2022 as a startup described as a label/ management/ tech-style accelerator and a year and half later the company is now getting into the music publishing game in partnership with Kobalt.
AI Threats Emerge In Music Publishers’ Battle With Big Tech (Hollywood Reporter)
Universal Music Publishing Group, Concord Music Group and ABKCO have sued Anthropic, an artificial intelligence company backed by the likes of Amazon, Google and Zoom, over its use of copyrighted song lyrics.
Anthropic fires back at music publishers’ AI copyright lawsuit (Reuters)
Artificial intelligence company Anthropic has asked a Tennessee federal court to reject an early bid by three music publishers to stop it from using and reproducing their song lyrics through its chatbot Claude.
Triller owes music rightsholders more than $23m (which it doesn’t have the cash to pay). Oh, and it’s just purged 200m bot/duplicate accounts from its platform. (MBW)
TikTok rival Triller simply will not give up on its ambition of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
No copyright exception for AI reiterates UK government – but tech companies still lobbying for more change (CMU)
The UK government has again confirmed it is no longer planning to introduce a new data mining exception in copyright law to benefit the AI sector, but it remains under intense lobbying from tech companies.
European Parliament backs music streaming royalty changes (Music Ally)
The European Parliament has voted by a resounding margin in favor of changes to the music streaming economy. 532 MEPs voted for and just 61 against a resolution (33 abstained) that includes a series of proposed changes.
EU’s AI Act nears final draft – copyright aspects included (Music Ally)
The three main institutions of the European Union – its Council, Commission and Parliament – are nearing the end of their negotiations to agree on a final draft of the EU’s new AI Act.
Chris Barkley appointed Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at NMPA (MBW)
The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) has appointed Chris Barkley as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.
Natascha Augustin promoted to Managing Director of Warner Chappell Music Germany (MBW)
In her new role, she will report to Guy Moot, Co-Chair and CEO of Warner Chappell Music (WCM), the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group (WMG).
Wise Music Group names Betsey Perlmutter as VP of Schirmer Theatrical (Music Week)
Wise Music Group has appointed Betsey Perlmutter as vice president of Schirmer Theatrical, Wise Music Group’s concert and theatrical production company.
Warner Chappell appoints Jessica Entner as VP of creative sync strategy (Music Week)
Entner will be focused on business development, partnering with key stakeholders to understand songwriters’ creative goals, and working directly with agencies and brands to showcase vital focus areas of the publisher’s catalogue.
Snoop Dogg appoints Kat MacLean Daley as VP and Head of Publishing at Death Row Records (MBW)
As Snoop revitalizes Death Row Records he appoints Kat MacLean Daley as his VP & Head of Publishing, responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations in music with focus on the newly established publishing arm.
Inside Heavy Duty Music’s heavy-duty year: how the publisher scored big in 2023 (Billboard)
Founding Partner and CEO Josh Kessler, delves into the successes Heavy Duty Music has had.
Anticipating the future of music and media: what lies ahead in 2024? (Synchblog)
Will this year prove to be even more disruptive? We’ve dissected and wrapped up predictions from experts across music and media for 2024 to find out.
The 10 biggest music business deals of 2023 (Billboard)
The year saw K-pop companies making mega moves on a global scale, while the catalog market remained hot. Billboard breaks down the top 10 biggest deals of 2023.
“Fair Use” is not a great business plan (The Illusion of More)
AI ventures simply cannot succeed if they are forced to contend with the copyrights in the billions of works they have scraped for the purpose of machine learning (ML).